Almond Matters: On The Verge of PTB Movement

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In this week’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent USA Corporation, trees are blooming around the state and some growers will soon start to see peach twig borer activity.

This time of year is when peach twig borer (PTB) populations start to move. “This is the time when they are starting to emerge, bloom time,” Valent Field Market Development Representative Tino Lopez said. “They have overwintered in the crotches of the trees, especially younger trees that are one to four years old.”

The pest overwinters in a hibernaculum. Lopez said the borer stays there until the weather begins to warm. The pest then emerges from its winter home. “They then begin to make their way to the top of the trees, looking to feed on young leaves and some of the petals as well,” Lopez said.

Lopez talked with AgNet West last week on his way back from being in the field and said PTB movement is just starting. “There is very low emergence at this point so you aren’t going to see the traditional damage just yet,” he said. Lopez predicted that will come in a week or two depending on the weather.

Rains haven’t changed the timing of PTB emergence as Lopez said the storms over the last several weeks have been fairly warm. However the recent cold streak may slow down some activity. “They emerge depending on the temperature. As we accumulate more heat units they’ll start to come out. The rains have been fairly warm so they are probably pretty on-schedule to emerge and start causing damage,” Lopez said.